India Literature Exploratory 2019

Expressions of Interest are now closed.

Notification: mid September 2018

Event dates: 19-28 January 2019

About the opportunity

Expressions of interest are now open for Australian literature and publishing sector professionals to attend key literature and publishing events in India in January 2018.

The Australia Council will lead a delegation of literature and publishing sector professionals, including publishers, rights managers, and commissioning editors; festival and writers’ centre programmers; and literary magazine editors on an 8 day research and networking program in India. The delegation will visit the Hyderabad Literary Festival, Jaipur Literature Festival and Jaipur Bookmark, and New Delhi, as well as participating in industry meetings and networking events.

The draft itinerary for the program is as follows:

  • 19 January- arrive New Delhi.
  • 20 January- rest day, bookshop visits.
  • 21-22 January- Industry meetings.
  • 23-25 January- Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur Bookmark.
  • 26-27 January- Hyderabad Literary Festival.
  • 28 January- depart Hyderabad.

This is the fifth India Literature Exploratory program organised by the Australia Council, and supported by the Australian High Commission in India. This program is designed to build deep and tangible connections between Australian and Indian literature and publishing sectors.

Outcomes from previous delegations have included:

  • Programming outcomes for Indian writers at Melbourne Writers Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week and Byron Writers Festival;
  • Collaborations and exchanges between Australia and Indian publishing houses; and
  • Rights sales of Australian and Indian work.

Rights sales have been a positive outcome of previous programs, however, the Australia Council’s long-term goal is to build strong cultural links between both countries. The fast-growing Indian diaspora community in Australia presents significant opportunities to engage with the sub-continent. As the connections between Australia and India strengthen, there is a growing appetite for books in both markets, and this program aims to capitalise on this.

You can read more about the Australia Council’s approach to the India Literature Exploratory program here

List of previous participants in the India Literature Exploratory program:

  • Stephen Armstrong, Creative Director, Asia TOPA
  • Kate Ben Tovim, Creative Producer, Asia TOPA
  • Cate Blake, Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House Australia
  • Jane Camens, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Writers & Translators
  • Sam Cooney, Publisher, The Lifted Brow and Brow Books – read Sam’s interview with Indian literature commentator Jaya Battacharji Rose 
  • Meredith Curnow, Publisher, Knopf Vintage
  • Lisa Dempster, Manager, Public Participation, Yarra Plenty Regional Library (former Festival Director/CEO, Melbourne Writers Festival)
  • Fiona Dunne, Prize Manager, Stella Prize (former Creative Producer, Express Media)
  • Jo Dyer, Director, Adelaide Writers’ Week (former Executive Director, Sydney Writers’ Festival)
  • Alice Grundy, Associate Publisher, Brio Books (former Managing Editor, Giramondo Publishing) – read about Alice’s trip to India in 2016
  • Susan Hawthorne, Director and Publisher, Spinifex Press – listen to Susan in conversation with Indian publisher Urvashi Butalia
  • Fiona Henderson, Publishing Director, Simon & Schuster (former Publisher, Affirm Press)
  • Ivor Indyk, Publisher, Giramondo Publishing
  • Edwina Johnson, Director, Byron Writers Festival – read about Edwina’s experience in India in 2018
  • Laura Kroetsch, Program Director, Dark & Dangerous Thoughts (former Director, Adelaide Writers’ Week)
  • Margrete Lamond, Publisher and Creative Director, Dirt Lane Press
  • Margot Lloyd, Editor, Wakefield Press
  • Shona Martyn, Editor, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald (former Publishing Director, HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand)
  • Kate McCormack, Rights Manager, Penguin Australia
  • Anna Moulton, CEO, Magabala Books
  • Henry Rosenbloom, Publisher and CEO, Scribe Publications
  • Jeanne Ryckmans, Agent, Cameron Creswell Agency (former Publisher, Black Inc Books)
  • David Ryding, Director, Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office
  • Barry Scott, Publisher, Transit Lounge Publishing
  • Deena Shiff, former Chair, Sydney Writers’ Festival
  • Stephanie Siriwardene, Editorial and Foreign Rights Executive, Scribe Publications – read Stephanie’s summary of her trip to India in 2017 
  • Louise Thurtell, Publisher, Allen & Unwin
  • Robert Watkins, Publisher, Hachette Australia
  • Terri-ann White, Director, UWA Publishing – read her insights from the 2018 program here (Books + Publishing subscription required to view content)

Travel support

The Australia Council will arrange and cover costs for:

  • Internal economy class flights within India and ground transport to programmed events;
  • Registration to festivals and events in the program; and
  • Accommodation in India during the program dates.

The Australia Council will support up to six participants with $2,000 towards the cost of a return flight from Australia to India, a visa and travel insurance. Any additional travel, living away from home costs, additional accommodation costs and all other incidental costs are the responsibility of individual participants. 


Australian literature and publishing sector professionals, including publishers, rights managers, and commissioning editors; festival and writers’ centre programmers; and literary magazine editors are eligible to apply.

Participants of previous India Literature Exploratory delegations are eligible to apply for this opportunity.

Please check the general eligibility requirements on the Australia Council website.

Selection Criteria

You are required to respond to the following selection criteria:

  1. Impact of the opportunity in developing your engagement or your organisation’s engagement with India;
  2. Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, cultural exchange and market development with India; and
  3. The timeliness of this opportunity and demonstrated ability to plan and deliver on any international outcomes that may arise.

Supporting material

No supporting material or submitted budget is required. Please note you will be unable to attach supporting material to your online application.

Selection process

Australia Council staff will consider expressions of interest according to the selection criteria above and will seek recommendations by industry advisors as needed.

You will be informed of the outcome of your expression of interest by mid September 2018.

How to submit an Expression of Interest

Click on the ‘Submit an EOI’ button at the bottom of this page. Expressions of Interest must be submitted via the Australia Council’s online system. To apply in the online system, please click on ‘Grants & Grant Reporting’ and choose ‘Expressions of Interest (EOI)’.

Note, this is an Expression of Interest and not a grant application. It does not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.


For any questions in relation to the program, please contact Matthew Loftus on (02) 9215 9071 or email:


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